5.CIA, Los Angeles Field Office.
The three agents stood in a row like naughty school children in front of the principal’s desk. When the extraction team had arrived after tracking them to a motel on the A1(M) motorway in northern England. They’d broken into the room to find the agents asleep and apparently drunk. The evidence appeared to suggest that far from going and breaking into the secret base of the Slayer Organisation, they’d raided the local liquor store and gone back to the motel to party.
“…and you don’t remember anything of what happened?” Jack Bristow demanded.
“No Sir,” Vaughn spoke having been voted in as spokesman for the three, “can’t remember a thing for almost a twenty-four hour period.”
“Well, luckily for you, we have the recordings and can prove that you did actually entered the slayer base,” Jack pointed out, “and that you were driven to the motel later.”
“Come on dad,” Sydney spoke up, “do you really believe that we’d have got drunk instead of completing the mission?”
“What I believe and what I know are two very different things,” Jack snapped silencing his daughter, “in the mean time,” Jack sighed deeply, “you’re all on sick leave until we can discover what these slayer people did to you…now go home.”
Sitting down, Jack watched his agents file from the room as he massaged his temples, he could feel a headache coming on. The British had not been pleased about him running an un-sanctioned mission on British soil. Jack also thought he’d caught a note of ‘I told you so’ in Sir Harry’s voice while he’d explained the diplomatic niceties of spying to him. Whatever else he’d learnt, Jack now realised that these Slayers were not to be trifled with, he’d also discovered that they were a world wide organisation almost entirely made up of women. They would need close watching and investigation.
Looking up at the sound of a knock on his door, Jack saw a very tall, young, fit man standing in his doorway. The man was wearing a suit but gave the impression that he didn’t normally wear suits.
“Director Bristow?” Asked the young man.
“Yes,” Jack looked at the man as he walked across his office and sat down in one of his visitor’s chairs, “who are you and what are you doing here?”
“Who am I?” The young man’s smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, “I’m Captain Riley Finn, US Army Rangers; as to why I’m here, I’ve come to talk to you about the Slayer Organisation…”0=0=0=0 Slayer Central, a few weeks later.
“Death awaits you!” Buffy cried dramatically, “You have signed an oath of obedience to your dark master and with hell you are in agreement!”
“What did he say to that?” Giles asked as he sipped his afternoon tea.
“Oh,” Buffy sighed sadly, “he said he didn’t care and I still couldn’t park on a double yellow line…”
“Bloody Traffic Wardens,” Giles muttered sympathetically.
“Yeah,” Buffy put down her own tea-cup, “I had to park down by the Townhall and walk all the way back…in the rain.”
“Poor Buffy,” Giles hid his smile behind his tea cup before checking the time, “look its five-thirty already, you better start getting changed.”
They were going to a formal charity function tonight, although they weren’t expected before seven-thirty, Giles knew from past experience it would take Buffy a good two hours to get ready.
“Oh god yes, I’ve gotta go!” Buffy looked up at the clock on the wall of Giles’ office, but then relaxed again. “No,” Buffy smiled, “I don’t have to go anywhere.”
”Why’s that?” Giles asked as he put down his cup.
“Ah-well,” Buffy gave her watcher a smug look, “Mr Bob has finished my new bathroom. I can shower and change in my office again, I brought the dress I’m going to wear in with me this morning.”
“Oh jolly good,” Giles lifted the teapot, “time for another?”
“I think I have time for another cup of tea with my favourite watcher,” Buffy smiled.
“I’ll be mother then,” Giles started to pour.0=0=0=0
After arranging bottles of shampoo and conditioner on a handy shelf, Buffy paused to admire her bathroom once more. ‘Bob the Builder’ had really done an excellent job. Gone were the cold clinical tiles and polished chrome. They’d all been replaced by friendly patterned tiles and warm woodwork. The ‘apparatus’ as Buffy had taken to calling the actual shower/bath arrangement that took up about half the available space in the room, stood in all its polish brass and bronze glory before her. Frowning slightly, Buffy considered, it was going to be a bugger to keep clean, but hey that’s what cleaners were for. Having reassured herself that she wouldn’t be the one to have to clean the ‘apparatus’ Buffy stepped over to the sink next to her super shower unit. Regarding herself in the mirror above the basin. Buffy smiled at what she saw; she might be well into her twenties now and still spending her nights and a fair proportion of her days battling evil, but she was still so hot! Smiling at her reflection, she placed a shower cap on her head and tucked her hair safely underneath it. Slipping out of her bath robe she hung it up on the hook behind the door before stepping into the apparatus itself.
“Right,” Buffy breathed as she studied all the dials, levers and valves; each control had a label next to it carefully translated by the mysterious Ernie. “Okay,” Buffy placed her hand on a control, “‘Mist’, lets see what this does.”
Turning the valve, Buffy found herself enveloped in a fine mist of water, by adjusting a lever she got it to a comfortable temperature.
“Nice,” Buffy’s eyes roamed to another control, “Right what’s ‘Rain’?”
Turning off the mist she turned on the ‘Rain’. Water poured from a number of shower heads above her, she found that by adjusting another lever she could fine tune the rain. Anything from a light drizzle to a downpour of tropical storm proportions; turning off the water, Buffy stood there dripping and gasping for breath.
“Right,” she told herself breathlessly, “don’t go any higher than ‘heavy rain’. Now, what’s ‘Massage’?”
Cautiously Buffy turned a tap and jets of water shot out from nozzles all around her, again a lever controlled the power of the jets. Standing in the middle of the shower, Buffy felt the water jets caress her body like the strong fingers of a masseuse. Sighing with pleasure, she closed her eyes; this was just so good, just the thing after a hard day spent training the new slayers. However time was marching on and there were several more controls left to try. Reluctantly, Buffy switched off the jets and moved on to the next control.
“‘Surprise!’” Buffy read the sign; frowning a little in trepidation she twisted a valve, at first nothing appeared to be happening, thinking that the control must be broken, she was just about to try something else when jets of water shot up from the floor.
“AAAGH!” Buffy cried out in shock as she fumbled to turn off the jets; once again finding herself gasping for breath, she decided that that was another control that needed to be used carefully.
“Okay,” Buffy panted slightly, “that was invigorating…now what’s this?”
The sign hanging from the lever clearly said ‘Don’t Touch’ in big red letters. It was obvious from the lettering that if you did ‘touch’ you’d be in big trouble. But, thought Buffy, what could possibly be so bad? She was in a bathroom, what could possibly go wrong here? Taking hold of the lever, Buffy pulled, at first it wouldn’t budge but by exerting a little slayer strength the lever started to move, all be it reluctantly.
Standing, dripping in the shower, Buffy waited for jets of water to shoot out from unexpected angles, nothing happened. Thinking that this was just another dud, Buffy reached to push the lever back to it original position when she felt a cool breeze on her back. Turning slowly she found herself facing a large hole in her bathroom wall. A large hole that appeared to lead out onto some sort of desert; she could see sand and rocks and in the distance weirdly shaped mountains. What was really strange was the way the sky swirled with bright colours.
“Well that’s something you don’t see everyday,” Buffy told herself as she cautiously approached the hole so she could get a better look.
However, not being dressed to go exploring inter-dimensional portals in her bathroom, Buffy retreated and returned the lever to its original position. Fortunately the hole grew smaller until it vanished completely. This would need careful investigation and hadn’t Willow said something about magic crystals? That must be it, Buffy decided, get Willow to remove the crystals and then she’d be able to shower without worrying about being sucked into different dimensions. In the mean time she needed to finish her shower, get dressed and go to this charity dinner.0=0=0=0 A Couple of Days Later.
Feeling more than a little uncomfortable and dressed only in a shower cap, Willow stood next to Buffy in her new shower.
“Tell me again why we both have to be naked?” Willow asked worriedly; although she’d never thought of Buffy ‘that way’ it didn’t alter the fact that Buffy was a very attractive young woman who might very well have turned gay again. “Erm, Buff, y-you’ve not gone…” Willow hesitated as she tried to get the words out, “…y’know…?”
“What gay again?” Buffy laughed lightly as she started to set the controls, “Don’t worry Will,” Buffy gave her friend a reassuring smile, “straight as a…” Buffy tried to think of something that was very straight but came up empty, “...a very straight thing.”
After fiddling with the controls for a moment longer Buffy turned to face Willow who closed her eyes for a moment.
“Buffy, please!” Willow gasped, “You’re…you know? So-so…”
“Yeah that’s about it,” Willow kept her eyes tightly closed, “could you kinda back off a little?”
“Sorry Will,” Buffy looked around, “but there’s really not much room in here.”
“Okay,” Willow opened one eye, “maybe we could do this quick?”
“Oh is that all I am to you,” Buffy sulked, “a quickie in the shower?”
“BUFFY!” Willow shrieked and nearly jumped out of the shower.
“Sorry, Will,” Buffy apologised, “I couldn’t resist. No, the reason we had to get naked,” That could have been better put, Buffy thought, “Was you don’t want to get your clothes all wet.”
“Look, the only way I’ve found of opening this portal is to go through the same sequence as I did the first time I found it,” Buffy explained as she started to open valves and pull levers.
And so it began; first there was the mist, then the rain followed by the massage. They both screamed at the ‘surprise’ and then finally they turned to look at the inter-dimensional portal.
“That is weird,” Willow gazed through the portal at another world forgetting for a moment that she was standing next to the wet, desirable body of her best friend.
“What do you think?” Buffy asked.
“Well its nowhere I recognised,” Willow looked up at the sky with its swirling colours, “I’ll have to do some research…”
“No I mean, can you fix it?” Buffy wanted to know, she didn’t want to lose her new toy.
“I’m not sure there’s anything that needs fixing,” Willow explained, “I mean as long as you don’t follow that exact sequence and pull the lever that says ‘Do Not Touch’ you should be fine.” Willow considered her statement for a moment, “You might want to bring a sword or axe into the shower with you just in case.”
“Now I have to go armed into the shower?” Buffy stepped out of the shower and passed Willow a towel and wrapped one around herself.
“Only as a precaution,” Willow pointed out.
“Will,” Buffy whined a little, “come on, can’t you take those crystal things out? I really don’t want all my weapons going rusty.”
“Okay,” Willow felt much more comfortable now they were both decently covered up, “like I say I’ll do some research..”
“Hey,” Buffy looked into her friends eyes as a thought came to her, “you don’t think that’s where this Tea-up-wanky guy lives, do you?”
“Nah,” Willow shook her head as she took off her shower cap, “some one with a name like that’s bound to live in a big palace some place, not in a desert.”
The portal closed and the two young women got dry and dressed again. Had they stepped through the portal and turned around to see what was behind it; they’d have seen the turrets and spires of a large, fantastic palace.THE END?